Day 317 & Day 318 & Day 319 – Slender Man & Instant Family & Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

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Movie Title: Slender Man

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.

Rated: PG-13

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Slender Man received terrible reviews upon release and was not screened for critics which is usually a bad sign. There was pending litigation over the movie because of the use of the character from the original creepypasta story. The movie itself suffers from these shortcomings, but not as much as I expected.

A group of non-descript high school girls are head over heels for a group of high school boys. They really want to hang out with them, but they are rejected. Instead they go and hang out in the basement of their friend’s house while her alcoholic dad sleeps it off upstairs. Because they are bored teenagers they start surfing the internet watching silly videos until one of them confesses they know what the boys are up to. The boys are planning to summon the Slender Man by doing a ritual found in some stupid internet video. Unwittingly, the girls stumble upon the same ritual with a link to tons of videos proving the existence of the Slender Man. The girls conduct the ritual and things begin to go bad very quickly.

One of the girls disappears on a school field trip never to be seen again. The others begin to have their sanity slowly deteriorate. The movie tries to build suspense around whether or not the girls will be able to avoid the fate of their friend, but unfortunately I didn’t really care. There performances were pretty lame, however I did find the design of the Slender Man himself to be a bit creepy and there was some nice imagery at points. The movie was not terrifying by any stretch, but it had its moments.

The biggest problem with the movie is that if you’ve seen any horror movie before then you’ve seen this movie. The Slender Man is supposed to be what makes this one stands out, but he is not compelling enough to build a movie around. All that is left is a paint by numbers horror movie. Which is not to say that the movie is bad. It isn’t. I certainly did not find the terrible reviews panning it as the worst movie ever made to be justified. It just doesn’t stand out as anything unique or special.

Verdict:

I didn’t hate it, but it is highly unoriginal. Skip it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Instant Family (2018)

 

Movie Title: Instant Family

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.

Rated: PG-13

Who did I watch with?: Josh S.

Where did I watch it?: Providence Place Cinemas 16 – Providence, RI

Review:

Instant Family is a dramedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as a couple that have decided to start a family a bit late in the game. They have business pressures, family pressures, and had just never put aside the time to start a family. Ultimately, the couple make the decision to adopt children though they don’t really know why. They go to classes led by the duo of Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro who tell them it isn’t going to be easy in no uncertain terms.

Pete (Wahlberg) and Ellie (Byrne) settle on adopting Lizzy (Isabela Moner) but she does not come alone. She comes with Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) her younger siblings and a lot of attitude. The movie definitely has some funny moments, but also has many that fall flat as Pete and Ellie grapple with the reality of parenting and adopting kids that have been through a lot. The comedic elements tend to play out in the group therapy sessions the couple attends while the drama plays out with the family. Things get more interesting as extended family is introduced and the movie addresses a lot of stereotypes about kids in foster care that have been taken away from their families. Ultimately, the movie takes many sad turns to reach its conclusion while still being an inspiring story for the holiday season.

One miscellaneous comment to whoever is in charge of details. If the couple are house flippers, shouldn’t Mark Wahlberg know he has to back butter those tiles. Tisk tisk.

Verdict:

Much like life, there is more work and drama then comedy, but it is a genuinely sweet and meaningful story. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

 

Movie Title: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 24 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies follows the titans dreams of movie stardom. Instead of focusing on a hero and villain facing off the Teen Titans are just looking for stardom. They want a movie made about them, but they are considered a joke. Batman’s car and utility belt are both getting movies ahead of Robin and the gang. They hatch several schemes to try and achieve movie stardom which are genuinely funny and are really pretty dark for a kids movie.

The first half of the movie has a lot of great musical elements that even includes a generic inspirational song by Michael Bolton that is fantastic. In the second half it loses momentum as it swings away from the whimsical elements that made the first half great. As the action shifts to focus on Robin’s rivalry with Deathstroke (Will Arnett) the pace slows down and so do the laughs. The action doesn’t keep pace with the humor and is not nearly as good though Will Arnett did a nice job voicing Deathstroke along with quite a few other notable celebrity appearances including Nicolas Cage as the voice of Superman.

The movie wraps predictably, but has a great moment at the end. I would have loved to have been in a theater full of families to see that play out along with a deep cut DC universe joke that was fantastic.

Verdict:

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a fun, musically driven story, until it isn’t. It is definitely a great kids movie that has moments even as its opening half fades into a traditional superhero story. Despite its short comings it is still a good time for all ages. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

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